Mrunal Manmay Dash

The garbage hill at the Temporary Transit Centre (TTC) behind Sainik School in Bhubaneswar has not only posed an environmental hazard to the local residents but also hit their religious sentiments.

As piles of garbage kept mounting at the TTC, an ancient Temple, Sarbeswar Mahadev Temple gradually buried under it. Puja in the temple is on the verge of closure as devotees choose to stay away from it, thanks to the unbearably foul stench emanating from the dumping yard.

Not only that, another temple in the vicinity, Dasharaja Temple has also gone devotee-less. Fortunately, the priest of the temple is still coming to perform puja every day. But with the stench, which is getting fouler every day, the priest is doubtful how many days more he can serve at the temple.

As per reports, the situation here turned acute after Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) stopped transporting waste from the site to Bhuasuni dumping yard in Daruthenga. As a result, the mini dumping yard has turned into a garbage hill, leading to resentment among locals, sources said.

The foul smell from the dumping yard fills the air right from Mancheswar to VSS Nagar, Shahid Nagar, Acharya Vihar, Damana, Chandrasekharpur, and Rangamathia. Garbage trucks moving around in these areas have further added to the woes of the residents.

However, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) claimed that it is working on a plan to make Bhubaneswar dumping-free, by March/April 2024.

Speaking to the media, BMC commissioner Vijay Amruta Kulange said, “Dumping of the garbage was a long-standing problem for the BMC at Daruthenga where it was going on for the last several years on 63 acres of land. But the BMC abiding by its commitment to the local people has stopped dumping garbage there from May 15, 2023, due to opposition from locals.”